Founded by the mother-daughter duo Dr. Sunanda and Geeti Biswas, Geetanjali offers authentic, handpainted Madhubani Art products made by local women artisans in and around Darbhanga, Bihar.
Back in the 90s, when the concept of entrepreneurship was yet to gain widespread recognition, Dr. Sunanda Biswas, a Ph.D. holder in Psychology, made a bold move. She left her well-paying job as a lecturer and ventured into starting her own small business with an initial investment of Rs. 5,000. Despite lacking a fashion degree, her driving motivation was to make a positive impact on society, particularly for women.
With a limited number of artists and a local tailor in Darbhanga, Dr. Biswas began creating a few sets of Madhubani cotton suits. Through the power of word-of-mouth alone, these suits quickly sold out. "For her, Geetanjali is more than just a business—it is her family and passion. Geetanjali has not only supported numerous women artisans but also played a vital role in preserving and promoting the traditional art of Madhubani," shared Geeti Biswas, daughter, and co-founder of Geetanjali.
Training, teaching, and retaining the rural women artisans back in 1995 was the biggest challenge for Dr.Sunanda. "Back in those days, in Darbhanga, very few women from rural areas were ready to come out of their homes and work. We first started working with them on a part-time basis. They would do all the household chores, take care of their family and work with us. Later, when they started getting appreciation and payment, their interest in working as an artist doubled, and then there was no looking back for Geetanjali", added Geeti.
After a few years, Dr.Sunanda also started a training institute where young girls and women from Bihar were trained in the art of Madhubani. The boutique also got a Bihar government affiliation later and has trained more than 1,000 women artisans to date. A lot of these women even moved to other cities after marriage and started their businesses there.
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"Geetanjali now employs more than 150 women artisans from in and around Darbhanga. We have patrons from all over the world, and last year we opened our first Flagship store", she further added. Not just a local favourite but also a choice of a few celebrities, Geetanjali has been loved and appreciated by Vidya Balan, Renuka Sahane, Maithili Thakur, Nauheed, and Sonali Kulkarni.
However, Geeti became a part of this business in 2018 as before doing the same, she was working in corporate and later found her calling in supporting her mother’s dream and carrying this legacy forward.
She looks into social media, website, production, and creating contemporary designs along with her mother.
Geetanjali makes authentic handpainted Madhubani painting sarees, suit sets, home decor, as well as accessories, and the collection looks fabulous. The mother-daughter duo has been in touch with weavers from different parts of the country and uses pure, handloom fabrics sourced directly from the weavers of Bihar, Bengal, Madhya Pradesh, and Gujarat.
"It's great when customers come to our store from outside Bihar and love our products. We hope to maintain our quality and customer satisfaction in the future, too, and looking forward to more stores", stated Geeti.